Poor legacy for first-ever 'wired' town
Published 07/04/2014 | 02:30
CLAREMORRIS is not the first 'cybertown'. In 1997, at a cost of €19m, Ennis in Co Clare was named Eircom's 'Information Age Town', beating competition from 49 other places.
It boasted that Ennis was the world's first "wired" town. However, a decade later, CSO figures revealed the town to have among the lowest broadband penetration in the country, while the number of homes with personal computers had dropped by 23pc.
A private IT company that also received funding at the time shut down in 2005. And the 3,500 new jobs planned for the town's €110m Information Age Park failed to materialise. It currently has just 19 companies on site.
However, enet, the company behind the Claremorris venture stresses that this time it's different.
It pointed out that this is a "genuine fibre rollout" with fibre optic cables being delivered directly into premises, whereas other fibre services connect to a local telecoms exchange or cabinet and rely on copper networks to reach premises.